EXAMPLE – RAPPER, SINGER & SONGWRITER

 THE HIGH’S AND LOW’S, FROM UK RAP TO INTERNATIONAL DANCE ACT. HIS COMPLETE STORY!

KILLA KELA: Your musical journey has been insane! How did it all begin for you?

EXAMPLE: My first release was 2003. I did about six or seven years of really struggling, making no money but doing

About 40-50 gigs a year for maybe 50 pounds or 100 pounds. I was playing support slots, playing in pubs or open mics just whatever I could. Then I got signed to Mike Skinner’s label in 2007.  “What We Made” came out 2007and that flopped although I sort of had a little fan base of like 18-year-old.

KILLA KELA: There was something that you said to me in the past that has stuck with me for a long time, you said the reason why Mike signed you was because of the tone of your voice. I feel like that set precedence to everything that came after because the way you sing and rap is your natural voice.

EXAMPLE: A lot of people they rap in a different voice, and they sing in a different voice. Skinner, when he signed me, he was just like look you’re not gonna be the Beastie Boys because you’ve got quite a soulful deep voice and I don’t want you shouting and doing this fake thing. He’s like you need to find your your sound and I don’t think I found it with that first album. It kind of felt like my first time and I learned what not to do. I don’t look back and hate the album it has some really nice moments on there. We had like 27 samples on the album, so I was never going to make any money from it. I didn’t really know what I was doing. 

KILLA KELA: How did that effect your career moving forward? When did things start changing?

EXAMPLE: After that I was actually going to quit music and go to Australia because my Mum and Dad had just moved there. I was working in tv at the time and then Ministry of Sound approached me, a guy called Dave, he was just like what’s your view on electronic music? I was like well I love The Prodigy, I love Basement Jaxx, I love Faithless, I love Chemical Brothers. He was like well I think everything you’re doing in terms of your voice is good and your storytelling’s great but, I think you should try singing and I think you should try dance music and I was like well I don’t know any dance producers and he was like don’t worry about that. 

I did one song with Sub Focus and that was Kickstarts and then I did a song with Calvin Harris. I did a song with Chase and Status and Don Diablo. The whole “Won’t Go Quietly” album was kind of made from a few Ministry of Sound contacts and a few myspace and twitter contacts and then that was kind of like my recipe after that. After “Kickstarts” I had a few like top 10s and top 20s. I didn’t really ever care about charts but that’s you say that when you have a hit and as soon as you’ve had a chart hit you just want more. It’s almost like I was making hip hop it was like a wonky hip-hop, you know it wasn’t like it wasn’t it had a real groove to it where people could dance to it or mosh to it it was a very wonky awkward hip-hop, but it had its charms. 

KILLA KELA: And here’s the thing, it was right in the crossover where Grime was coming along there was also that UK Hip Hop, Task Force thing and you fitted right in the pocket of both but there wasn’t an audience.

EXAMPLE: There wasn’t an audience but the Ministry of Sound  marketing team knew exactly who my fan base was and how to find them. My audience changed from being 90 percent Male, 18-year-old kids to 50/50 girls and guys from like 15 all the way up to 40. Somebody at Ministry knew exactly where they’re doing to sell that those CDs. At my gigs now there’s people in their 60s in the back but I’ve also got this whole new generation of fans. The people coming to my tour next year would have been 11 when say “Change the Way You Kissed Me.” was number 1.

KILLA KELA: I think the one thing about you that your fans really love is that you come off really relatable and approachable. There’s an element of lad next door, there’s a heavy banter and it really comes across in your music.

EXAMPLE: Yeah, when I meet fans, they’re like oh my god you’re exactly like I thought you’d be. I love that. 

KILLA KELA: Talk to me about talk to me about the studio process?

EXAMPLE: When I start making dance music, I’d be sent a beat and then some of the music was made from scratch usually starting at the piano. Everything else was a beat and writing over a section of that beat and then the producer taking that away and turning it into a song and that’s going back and forth. Kickstarts for instance the one that was released was probably version 27, so there’s 27 versions of that song. “Changed The Way You Kissed Me” has 25 versions. There’s a lot of perfectionism that goes into it. I won’t leave the studio until all my ideas are down and the whole song has a three-minute four-minute shape to it, then I know I can walk away and let the producer finesse it. At the end of the day though I will always try and get the best vocal performance out and write the best bars possible. I want the opening lyric to grab you. A lot of my lyrics are Grunge, and Blues inspired, they’re depressing they’re about cheating on my girlfriend, staying up too late, doing too many drugs basically grunge music, they’re not necessarily Electronic. They’re all borrowed from Grunge and Rock because that’s what I grew up on. 

KILLA KELA: You’re live show is pretty incredible! You are a great artist to see live.

EXAMPLE: I really want my show to be an experience. I want to be a rave. I want it to be a celebration of everything I care about. I want the show to be engaging and bring people together.  I mean at the end of the day that’s the bigger essence of everything I do.

In todays Podcast we jump into an evergreen chat with a british Dance Music figurehead. Known internationally in the Electronic Dance Music genre, Example also cut his teeth as a Hip Hop artist. In this special episode we get into some deep conversations on the London musical school of hard knocks, drug and alcohol abuse, radio’s in 2021, living in Australia, studio practice, Touring live and more.. this is Examples most in-depth podcast yet, enjoy!